Microsoft Multilingual User Interface (MUI) and Visual Studio

Windows Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Packs let you install an English version of Windows, and then install various User Interface Language Packs. User Interface Language Packs provide a localized user interface (UI) for the operating system. For example, you can install a Japanese User Interface Language Pack on top of an English version of Windows and then switch the Windows UI language between Japanese and English. The MUI lets you have multiple language versions of Windows on one computer.

On computers that have the MUI Pack and multiple language versions of Visual Studio installed, changing the Windows display language settings sets both Windows and Visual Studio when matching language packs are installed. You can switch the Visual Studio UI language. For more information, see International Settings, Environment, Options Dialog Box.

Limitations of Multi-Language Installations

When you install different locale versions of Visual Studio on the same computer, consider the following:

  • The Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) does not allow more than one language version to be installed on the same computer. If you install another language version on a computer that already has a version of the Windows SDK installed, the existing version is overwritten.

  • You can only switch languages between similar editions. For example, if you have an English Express Edition installed, a German Express Edition installed, and a Professional Edition installed, you can only switch languages for the Express Editions, not for the Professional Edition.

Support for Code Pages

Some Visual Studio tools do not display text correctly when the text contains characters that are not in the current code page. Instead, question marks appear or the text is corrupted. The following tools or areas are affected:

  • Sites deployed via FTP.

  • Non-ASCII computer names.

  • Command-line tools that run outside Visual Studio.

  • Setup and Deployment projects.

  • Setup Bootstrapper.

  • Visual Basic Migration Wizard.

  • ActiveX Control Test Container.

  • Create GUID Tool.

  • Error Lookup Tool.

  • ATL/MFC Trace Tool.

  • Spy++.

  • OLE/COM Object Viewer.

  • ISAPI Web Debug Tool.

  • MFC application projects that have HTML Help content.

  • Projects with DataSource.

  • Visual SourceSafe / SCCI falls back to English when there is an incompatible code page.

  • Visual SourceSafe does not support Unicode file names.

To correctly display characters that are not included in the current code page

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then open Regional and Language Options.

  2. Click the Advanced tab.

  3. In the Select a language to match the language version of the non-Unicode programs you want to use drop-down list, select the language you are currently using for Visual Studio.

  4. Click OK.


    You must be an administrator on the computer to perform this procedure.

Changing the Language Used for the UI Text in Visual Studio

When you install multiple language versions of Visual Studio on the same computer, the language used by Visual Studio (for the UI) defaults to Same as Microsoft Windows. This setting indicates that Visual Studio will display the UI text in the language that is specified as the display language for the operating system.


If Visual Studio is set to use Same as Microsoft Windows, and the matching Visual Studio language pack is not installed, Visual Studio will use the language of the first Visual Studio installation.

To set the language that is used for the UI text in Visual Studio

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. In the Options dialog box, expand Environment and then click International Settings.

  3. In the Language drop-down list, select the language that the UI text should display in the development environment.

    To have the UI text in the integrated development environment (IDE) match the operating system display language setting, select Same as Microsoft Windows.

See Also


How to: Use Unicode Surrogate Pairs in the Editor


International Settings, Environment, Options Dialog Box